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dating a widower

(60 Posts)
Clar1sa Thu 10-Oct-13 07:09:01

My relationship is with a man whose wife has been deceased for four years. He sleeps in the same bed as he shared with her and has kept her car which he calls the shopping trolley. I do not know if I am being unreasonable but this hurts me. They were married many years. I find I cannot stay over at his house. In fact I do not like to go there. It is full of her things.

TheFunStopsHere Thu 10-Oct-13 07:18:23

None of those things sound especially unusual or alarming to me. Keeping the bed and the car sound quite normal, to me anyway. And if they were happily married with items they both liked, why shouldn't those things be in the house? Expecting him to remove all references to his past seems unreasonable. The presence of these items don't necessarily mean he's not capable of forming a new relationship, but it sounds like they are unsettling you. Is there something he's saying or ways he is acting that are causing you to feel so insecure about the relationship?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 07:20:27

I'm sorry but you can't expect someone to erase a house of their late DW's things just because it makes you uncomfortable. Sleeping in the bed they shared is not really weird unless he's done a 'Ned Flanders' - preserved her indentation in the mattress etc. The reference to the 'shopping trolley' doesn't sound particularly sentimental either. Is he being deliberately insensitive or are you being overly insecure? Have you told him how you feel?

MrsManshape Thu 10-Oct-13 07:21:31

So you expect him to rid his life of everything remotely connected to her, now that he's seeing you?

Life doesn't work like that.

To him they may simply be things - it seems like you're putting the emotional attachment onto them.

Do you feel that he's ready to start another relationship? Does he?

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 07:22:07

Why would he get rid of a bed or a car if they are still serviceable? There's more to this than your OP indicates, isn't there?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 07:23:01

Is he expecting you to get your hair styled the same as his late DW? Wear her clothes?...

BlingLoving Thu 10-Oct-13 07:34:39

A bed and a car are major items. I'd be more concerned if he still had all her clothes in the closet or toiletries in the bathroom. But major items are unlikely to hold sentimental value so much as practical value.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 10-Oct-13 07:51:17

Having a relationship with a widower is very different to a divorcee. No one made a choice to go, there will always be love still there for the deceased party. To have this relationship you need to honour and respect this.
The other side is that despite all of this, this person has opened their heart to risk this again for you that makes you special.

sarahjaye Thu 10-Oct-13 08:04:45

My mother died three years ago, my father has been dating someone for the last couple of years. He only recently sold my Mum's car and still has the same bed. When is visit, I notice little things like a photo or ornament has moved or been out away. Little by little, he's getting over it, and making the house his, not theirs.

It makes me happy that he slowly moving on and enjoying his last hurrah (he's 73).

I don't think it's even crossed his mind the bed might be a problem for his new partner, he's not sentimental like that.

Clar1sa Thu 10-Oct-13 08:18:29

Thanks for these comments. They help. I guess it is the other stuff that happens that has unsettled me and compounded my resentment of his attachment to his past. He has always claimed to have "moved on". Once we bumped into an old friend and he was clearly embarrassed to have to introduce me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 08:22:03

How long have you been seeing each other? Had he dated other people since the death of his DW and before you?

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 08:27:05

But it was only four years ago! How old is he? And you? Why would you resent his attachment to his past?

Shosha1 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:29:03

My DM died over 20 years ago.
Dad met somebody else a year later.
She refused to have anything of my Mothers in the house and threw out everything she could.
( I drove passed one day to see lots if it out on the step for the dustbin lorry, including a suitcase in which I knew was all my mums personal keepsakes and the bereavement cards)
I stopped and put it in my car.
My Dad didn't know she had done it. He was at work

To this day I can't understand why she did it.
My Mum was dead, not divorced, she had no reason to be jealous or insecure about her!

20 years later she has ailinated (sp?) all his family
He us now very Ill at 85 and complaining about having to have carers and nursing in the house.

I don't understand why anybody wants to blot out a previous happy life!

Btw. Not one of my siblings nor I can stand the woman now

Shosha1 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:33:43

Sorry it is the StepMonster who is complaining about having nursing care in the house not Dad.
It interferes with her space apparently.

She hates that I go to see him every week and go to his hospital appointments with him ( she won't. She dosnt like hospitals, and he is now so forgetful he forgets what the doctors have said by the time he gets home )
Sorry about the rant

Clar1sa Thu 10-Oct-13 08:37:42

I guess I need to terminate the relationship. My friends all say I should run a mile. He has not got to know me in that he treats me as if I am her. He even asked me to wear her ring at the start of our relationship. I did for a while but found it unpleasant after a time. I am me, not a replacement for the one he loves. He has always made all the decisions and I like to make some myself. She gave everything to him. Worked for him, (ran the business), waited for him at home and cooked, cleaned and everything. He is doing well as he is learning to cook and clean. He is always telling me when he is doing his laundry as if I am his mum. I am not interested in his laundry. Its a chore, we all have to do it. I wish I could feel better about it but it hurts when he rejects me, which is often.

Clar1sa Thu 10-Oct-13 08:43:58

We have been seeing each other for over a year and he more or less moved in, without asking, just brought his stuff around. He has now moved it all back to his place. I have heard about people like your Stepmonster Shosha1 and I do not believe I am at all like that. I have always admired her pictures and said how beautiful she was and how wonderful that they had such a happy life. I have not tried to remove anything. I cannot sleep in a dead person's bed, however. That is me. I would not ask anyone to sleep in a dead person's bed either. My sister has just lost her son and she is replacing the bed so that she can have guests that do not have to sleep in her son's bed.

Clar1sa Thu 10-Oct-13 08:45:46

And yes he has attempted to pass on some clothing to me. He gave me her jewellery but I realised that was when he expected me to be a replacement and so I gave it back.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 08:46:25

A bed is just a bed. Do you worry about who has slept in hotel beds before you did?

Dumpylump Thu 10-Oct-13 08:47:02

Yep, leave him. Your resentment of his wife is palpable, it's not fair on either of you.

Clar1sa Thu 10-Oct-13 08:47:10

And yes he still has all her stuff in the house. An apron hanging on the kitchen door. Not his.

anon2013 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:49:24

It sounds like he's not ready to move on OP I'm afraid. I totally understand your feelings re the bed too. The fact he's moving his stuff back to me says he thinks he is not ready too sad

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 08:49:44

How old are you both? I could understand someone in his eighties feeling that clothes should be passed on (wartime make-do-and-mend mentality).

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 08:50:35

The clothing and jewellery certainly does put a different complexion on it. It sounds as though he's grooming you as a replacement rather than loving you for yourself. Yes, you should end it.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 08:51:47

Yeah yeah, now you say more I understand. It is too early for him. Move on.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 10-Oct-13 08:57:52

It is too early for him and you are not the right person to be with a widower - even one that is ready to move on. You lack the required awareness and compassion.

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